2020 South Side Questions: Will Steelers Be Without David DeCastro Again?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Will the Steelers be without David DeCastro again?

It’s now Friday morning, and as of now, David DeCastro has not yet practiced this week after suffering an injury in the first half of last week’s game. If he does not practice today, then he is obviously going to have very low odds of playing on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Even if he does manage to practice today, that won’t guarantee that he will play, for multiple reasons. And part of that equation is the play of rookie Kevin Dotson, who has done some good work in the lineup, even when coming off the bench.

The Steelers will certainly be taking that into consideration when they weight DeCastro’s prospects of playing, assuming that he even begins to work his way into practice today. If he doesn’t then it’s all but assured Dotson will get the start.

If that is the case, then J.C. Hassenauer will be the primary interior backup. I am assuming at this point that the Steelers have been giving Derwin Gray interior reps, so he would be a second reserve who can play both inside and outside, with Jerald Hawkins serving as the swing tackle and extra lineman.

Should DeCastro indeed be sidelined, it will be the third game he has missed this season. He has played just 102 snaps so far this season, a hair over one third of the team’s total snaps, and it would obviously dip below that should he miss the Browns game.

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